Maui Food and Dining

Winners Announced in GET Local Video Cooking Contest

January 8, 2019, 5:14 PM HST
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GET Local Cooking Contest winner Starshine Eareheart is an 8th grader at Haleakalā Waldorf School. Courtesy photo.

Judges have chosen the award-winners in the GET Local Cooking Contest, which teaches kids to Grow, Eat, and Think Local, helping to sustain the future of Maui’s agriculture sector. To engage students 12 to 18 years old and promote local growers, a county-wide video cooking contest was launched by the University of Hawai‘i Cooperative Extension Service in fall 2018. In partnership with The Mill House’s Executive Chef Taylor Ponte, the competition promoted the farm-to-table concept for young students.

“Being born and raised in Hawai’i makes it most important to me to support local farms by sourcing ingredients here in the islands,” says Executive Chef Taylor Ponte of T

he Mill House. “It feeds us, strengthens the community of Maui, and keeps jobs alive. I have a lot of friends who are farmers and I see their passion for what they do and I know how passionate I am; it feels great to be a part of this growth.”

The GET Local Video Cooking Contest was open to all students in Maui County to enter. After the videos were reviewed, a panel of judges tasted recipes from the top candidates.

The First Prize Winner for 2018 is Starshine Eareheart. Starshine is in the 8th grade and attends Haleakalā Waldorf School on Maui. Her recipe for Taro Squash Soup showcased beautiful local vegetables from Oko’a Farms in Kula.


The Runner-Up is Tulpe Pablo, in the 11th grade at Lāna‘i High School. Honorable mentions also go to Seth Robinett, John Sarmiento, and Neal Maltezo from Lanai High School. The winners will have the incredible opportunity to be mentored and work alongside chefs at The Mill House restaurant in Waikapū, in addition to participating in a private farm tour and cooking demonstration.


“I’m really pleased with the results of our initial contest,” says Nancy Ooki, University of Hawai‘i Extension Educator and contest creator. “The youth that participated put their passion for cooking, culture, and the land into their videos. They understand the importance of using local commodities for their health and the sustainability of the community and through their videos they are able to educate others in the community as well. I am looking forward to seeing the submissions in our next round of the contest.”

The November 2018 deadline marked the end of the pilot year for the GET local initiative but the contest will continue on. The GET Local Video Cooking Contest is now accepting submissions throughout 2019 with a judging deadline to be announced in the Fall. To find out more visit the GET Local website, email here follow them at get_local_uh on Instagram.


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